Home Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force co-chairs issue $3.5 million in grant funding

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force co-chairs issue $3.5 million in grant funding

Rebecca Barnabi
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U.S. Reps. Rob Wittman and Bobby Scott of Virginia and John Sarbanes of Maryland announced $3.5 million awarded to the first Chesapeake WILD grants.

The awards will protect more than 3,300 acres of fish and wildlife habitat, the restoration of nearly 1,000 acres of forest and marsh habitat and more than 20 miles of rivers and streams across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. According to a press release, the projects will also improve opportunities for local communities to access and experience natural spaces.

All three are co-chairs of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task force. Funding for the 12 grants is possible through the Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (WILD), which they introduced in the 116th Congress.

“The Chesapeake Bay is one of America’s greatest treasures and restoring the watershed is vitally important. The announcement of the first Chesapeake WILD grant awardees is great news for the Chesapeake Bay and all those who call the 64,000 square mile watershed home. These projects leverage the on-the-ground expertise of regional, state, and local partners to conserve land; enhance resilience; restore critical habitat, including wetlands; and make recreational experiences more accessible to the public. The projects funded by these grants will also reduce nutrient and sediment pollution, improve water quality and help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” a press release stated.

The Chesapeake WILD Act was part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act which former President Donald Trump signed into law at the end of 2020.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.